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“Nationals October 2019

Book signing for new historical book on the Arundel on the Bay Community

| December 20, 2018, 06:16 PM

The Amazing Story of Arundel-on-the-Bay:1600s to Today is just off the presses and you can get your copies for the holidays at a discount ($35) at the home of Aris T. Allen Jr. (1323 Magnolia Ave. Annapolis). Allen’s home is on the site of the dispute between two white home owners that resulted in the community flipping to almost all African-American in the late 1950’s. Allen will discuss the white flight in the community. The author signing party will be from 2-4 pm on Sunday December 23. Allen and the other authors will offer you wine and snacks while they sign your books. You will also learn there is a lot of AOTB history in this house. The book chronicles a community evolving from the Gay Nineties, through the segregated Jim Crow era, World War II, woman’s liberation, and other 20th and 21st century realities. What emerges in the telling is a portrait of America’s social and cultural history that shaped a community.

The books authors, all residents of Arundel–on-the-Bay, banded together seven years ago to research and write the book. They include: Aris T. Allen Jr, Phillip Allen, Marc L. Apter, Wilma Coble, Edie Dolberg, Pamela Duncan, Robert Meissner, John Moses, Karen Neale, Bill Semenuk and Arend J. Thomas, III. The lavishly illustrated full color book is available at local book stores and on-line at Amazon for $39.95.

It started in 1890, with the purchase of 350 acres south of Annapolis, on the Chesapeake Bay, America’s largest estuary.  Lots on this waterfront land acquired by the Chesapeake & Colombia Investment Company were advertised for sale based on the beauty of the site and its solitude as a woodland paradise.

The community distinguished itself in unique ways;

  • It began as almost all white to became almost all black in the 1950’s, and then evolved into the proudly integrated neighborhood of today.
  • Hourly passenger train service from Annapolis, connected travelers from Washington, D.C. and Baltimore to the Bay Ridge resort, where the Company’s “Blackberry Train,” open summer cars, ran along the beach to Arundel-on-the-Bay from 1893 to the early 20th century.
  • This smallest incorporated town in the U.S. for many years was all but wiped out by a major fire in 1916.
  • The only community in Maryland where woman had the right to vote before 1920.
  • Thomas Point Island, just offshore, had a home on it until it was destroyed by two hurricanes in the 1930s.
  • Famous folks had ties there including Frederick Douglass, Alex Haley, Martha Washington, Patrick Henry, Rep. Adam Clayton Powell, Todd Duncan-opera star of Porgy and Bess fame and Rep. Clarence Mitchell, Jr.
  • During the War of 1812 a British Sloop of War ran aground off Thomas Point, an incident which almost caused Annapolis to be burned to the ground.

The Amazing Story of Arundel-on-the-Bay:1600s to Today is a brand new, fully illustrated, and very detailed chronicle of generations of families that have both loved and endured a special and precarious piece of Chesapeake real estate. This is a book that demonstrates how all of our family histories are worth the telling.

Severn Bank

Category: Events, LIFE IN THE AREA, Local News, NEWS, Post To FB

About the Author - John Frenaye

John is the publisher and editor of Eye On Annapolis. As a resident and business owner in Anne Arundel County for nearly 25 years, he realized that there was something missing in terms of community news–and Eye On Annapolis was born in late spring 2009.

John’s background is in the travel industry as a business owner, industry speaker, and travel writer. In terms of blogging and social media, he cut his teeth with MSNBC.com.

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